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HAMC reports finish in the black this year

By Staff | Oct 25, 2010

The Heart of America Medical Center’s financial performance has improved significantly compared to last year. In August of 2009, the facility, which had not merged with Johnson Clinic yet, showed a loss of $240,109. This August, the month in which the merger became final, shows a profit of $27,498.

This positive step is due in part to a reduction in contract labor costs, an increase in surgery time availability and increased patient census in the swing bed unit. An increase in rates for both Long Term Care (LTC) and Haaland Estates added to the bottom line. Efficiencies have been gained in LTC staffing.

“Quality care is the make-up of everything we are a part of in providing care,” Administrator Jeff Lingerfelt told the board in his annual report.

Lingerfelt went on to report that HAMC is rated at par or above state and national percentages in patient care, which is determined by a survey of patients’ hospital experiences. Lingerfelt has completed his first year at HAMC as CEO.

LTC had the distinction of receiving an excellent state survey this past year and was rated a 5-Star facility. They are also one of two recipients in the state to earn an American Health Care Association Quality Award.

The Haaland Estates Assisted Living survey indicated satisfaction with services. Since safety and security of residents is an important issue, the board plans to strengthen these areas.

The Good Samaritan Hospital Association board, which governs HAMC, met for their annual meeting on October 4.

A growth in providers was noted at that meeting. Dr. Wallace Kurihara, surgeon, has contracted with Dr. Basem Fanous, podiatrist, to provide on-site patient visits and surgery. Two additional mid-level providers have joined the staff, Dustin Hager and Keri Weick. Most recently, Dr. Julia Garcia, family practice physician has accepted a contract to practice in the clinic. Her projected start date is Monday, November 15.

HAMC has partnered with the Studer Group to assist with improving communication and staff ownership throughout the organization.

The percentage of patient days was up slightly from last year, according to a report by Bonnie Kuehnemund, comptroller. Assets increased from $12.5 million to $13 million. This increase is most likely due to a loss in investments in 2008 and a partial reason why there is an increase in 2009.

Next year’s annual report will have a line item for the clinic services. Some of the goals in combining the two facilities into one medical center was to share expenses and combine departments for better efficiency and to increase financial performance for both. That is tied in with continuing to bring in more providers.

The board believes that they have a responsibility to care for patients and have funded charity care in 2009 for $229,147 and for the current year for $215,848. This is anticipated to remain the same.

Bad debt is projected to increase over the next several years. Previously, bad debt accounted for $238,186 and this year is at $383,562.

Overall, the combined facility is moving forward in a positive direction and has completed two months as one unit. Expectations are high for a positive outcome in 2010-2011.

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